For immediate release | May 23, 2011

Wedgeworth to explore past, future of library literacy programs at 2011 Coleman Lecture

CHICAGO – Dr. Robert Wedgeworth, a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board (NMLSB), former executive director of the American Library Association and president of ProLiteracy Worldwide, will present a vision of library literacy services in the 21st century at the 2011 Jean E. Coleman Library Outreach Lecture. The lecture will be held from 8 a.m. - 10 a.m. CDT on Monday, June 27 in room 346/7 of the Morial New Orleans Convention Center during the 2011 ALA Annual Conference.

The lecture series honors Dr. Jean E. Coleman, the first director of the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS), for her leadership in focusing the association's attention on issues affecting traditionally underserved and underrepresented people in libraries.

Dr. Wedgeworth’s lecture is titled, “The Future of Literacy in Libraries: Our Challenges, Our Opportunities.” In exploring why library literacy programs have not been more successful, Wedgeworth will discuss making literacy programs more accountable, developing and replicating innovative strategies and demonstrating the impact of library literacy services in order to influence stakeholders and decision makers.

Dr. Wedgeworth’s notable career has included service as a librarian, library educator and association executive, including president and CEO of ProLiteracy Worldwide (ProLiteracy), university librarian and professor of library and information science at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, dean of the School of Library Service at Columbia University and executive director of the American Library Association. In January 2010, President Obama nominated Dr. Wedgeworth to serve on the National Museum and Library Services Board (NMLSB).

The Jean Coleman Lecture is open to all Annual Conference attendees. This year’s event is coordinated by the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services Advisory Committee, Dee Holiday (Chair), Nancy M. Allen, Angela J. Barnes, Nancy S. Fletcher, J. Gabriel Gossett, Mary K. Kuehner, Sarah Lawton, Maud Choice Mundava, Candice Pinder, Roberta Craig Reasoner, Phuong Vu, Portia Eileen Latalladi, and Anthony Molaro.

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The Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS) serves the Association by identifying and promoting library services that support equitable access to the knowledge and information stored in our libraries. OLOS focuses attention on services that are inclusive of traditionally underserved populations, including new and non-readers, people geographically isolated, people with disabilities, rural and urban poor people, and people generally discriminated against based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, language and social class. The Office ensures that training, information resources, and technical assistance are available to help libraries and librarians develop effective strategies to develop programs and service for new users.